Stephen A. Smith departs for the Yankees following their 6-2 defeat to the Red Sox at the American League Wild Card Game. (1:45).
Sources have confirmed to ESPN that New York has decided not to renew the contracts of Phil Nevin and Marcus Thames, the Yankees' third-base coach, in the wake of their disappointing 2021 season.
P.J., the Yankees' assistant hitting coach, is also expected to be terminated by them. ESPN sources confirm that Pilittere was confirmed by ESPN.
These moves are part of a personnel shake-up led by Aaron Boone, who was also under scrutiny for his job security after the Yankees' third place finish in the AL East. They also lost to the rival Boston Red Sox during the AL Wild Card Game.
ESPN reported earlier this week from sources that Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees' owner, is likely to keep Boone in his role as manager. However, the situation is still fluid. Boone, who has led the Yankees to the postseason each of his four seasons in Bronx, does not have a contract for 2022.
Sources within the Yankees organization were unsure Thursday afternoon what Boone would do to respond to the firing of certain members of his coaching staff.
Boone could indicate that he would like to be re-elected as manager. Both sides would need to negotiate a new contract when there are open managerial positions with the New York Mets, San Diego Padres, or the St. Louis Cardinals.
Thames was previously an assistant hitting coach under Joe Girardi, but was promoted as a hitting coach after Boone was hired.
Over a span of four seasons, the Yankees led the majors in runs scored. Going into the 2021 season the organization expected that the offense would be backbone performance. This will allow for margin for error for potential weaknesses.
The Yankees' offense, however, was their biggest problem. They were 19th in majors in runs scored (711) as well as having long periods of ineptitude. The Yankees had the sixth-worst rate of strikeouts, and there was much criticism from the front office regarding the team's post-season adjustments. These numbers directly cost Thames and Pilittere.
Nevin, who joined the Yankees in 2017 after the 2017 season, was a close friend and well-liked by Boone. As the Yankees tried to recover from an early deficit at Fenway Park, he was involved in a crucial play last week.
Nevin called Aaron Judge home with one out. Judge was thrown out at plate by Xander Bogaerts on a great relay, ending a possible rally for the Yankees in sixth inning. In an interview with The New York Post, Nevin later justified his decision. However, private evaluations from other teams claim that it was a bad choice considering that the Yankees were down two runs.
The Yankees have a history of dismissing a third-base coach. Third-base coach Mike Ferraro was fired after Willie Randolph was dismissed in the 1980 playoffs. George Steinbrenner demanded that Ferrero be removed immediately. After the season, Dick Howser, manager refused to resign and eventually did so.